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Psychedelic Drugs


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#1 m_v

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Posted 03 February 2009 - 11:55 PM

Drug/ab/use is quite a widespread fashion amongst people of different age. I feel sorry for these people, as many are talented, sensitive, but are cut off from sources and practical solutions that could make them understand some situations. I have some friend, who used different drugs for long time, so I could see some lasting effects - positive and negative ones, and also could understand some of their motivation or the reasons that make them use such ’instruments’.

To my observations, there are maybe four main types of people using drugs. (not a very accurate listing)

1. fashion; its purpose is showing off, for appearing strong etc. among friends. Normally, those, who represent this group are not well educated, are young party-people, interested in superficial relations with the opposit sex, their mind is quite immatured (many are teenager).
2. some intellectuals, who have maybe higher education, maybe lots of stress, are frustrated emotionaly, or only want to experience it so that later they can talk about it as someone having first-hand information. not necessarily very deep people for different reasons. They normally dont get caught deeply in drug abuse, after a few experience they leave it. This is a group of different „light” reasons for using, trying drugs.
3. artists - they might use it for gaining inspiration in either way: by widening the gap between them and the rest of the society, and by having different insights into other fields/worlds of experiences.
4. spiritual practitioners - from different origin. Most of them dont have a trustworthy leader, who could grant safety for their „trips” or „opening gates”. Their practice is based on books (about Mexican, Indian etc traditions), on accounts of different psychedelic plant growers and users, who normally are quite well informed in medical, bio-chemical matters and shamanism-spiritualism as well. They usually have good heart, trying to help others too, but I think they are just too much focused on psychedelic spiritualism.


I guess there are some features from each group in every user - maybe just in differing proportion, I mean each user is some way longing for admiration by others, want to gain experience from intellectual point of view, want to gain artistic inspiration, and want to have spiritual experience - and of course all want to ease their mind. But on the basis of the depth of their general understanding of existence - the emphasis is put differently.
(Perhaps there is a fifth group which consists of heavy criminals, but may be they are one part of the upgrowing generation of the 1st group, and are rather active on drug market)


I think it is needless to say, that in every case there is a need to diverge from conventionality that leads one to intentionally start using drugs. The prevailing extensive usage (or better misusage) of drugs can point out a few problem of the present societies, which are ignoring some basic needs of humans. (I am talking mainly about my country.) Namely, humans are not machines, who have no emotions, and who have no need for communication and spirituality. The creators of social system can try to supress people’s need for true spirituality, but it can only lead to the deterioration of the society. First, because creativity weakens, degenerates and eventually dies in people under such suppression, second, because while having an intellectual and spiritual darkness in peoples minds - and being in pain because of that - they will use the first artificial, chemical, mechanically working thing (I mean an outer object, which is not their own mind) that can ease this stress. But the trick is, that most of the times, and especially if the druguser is ignorant, he/she will be seriously damaged mentally and physically as well. And the comfort granted by drugs will last for shorter and shorter time, parallel to growing damage.
And third, in a society which lacks true spiritual paths, there will different pseudo-religious sects coming, as a quick response for pressing needs, which also contributes greatly to the fall of societies, on the cost of many lives.


Here I would like to focus on the 4th group, though the content might be relevant to others too, and there might come up some solutions for the rest of the society in general. What I only mean is that this drug question should be handled or at least adviced upon on governmental/medical level as well, by true spiritual leaders, since the problem is of spiritual nature. Evident… (as I always found it ridiculous that a secular organ want to decide about euthanasia and abortion… as if they had that deep understanding of life and death…)


There are some references for using drugs in Tantric and other sources from India for gaining spiritual realizations (or inspiration), and many cases in Indian, Mexican etc. traditions. So quite probably, in some way, spiritual development could be supported by some sort of drugs - as it was pointed out by many “experts” of our modern age too, like Aldous Huxley (though I doubt his genuineness in general - but he can say nice things), and also in Carlos Castanedas books - but all are putting great emphasis on a firm guidance coming from a strong teacher. In my surroundings there were people, who inspired by Castanedas books were indulging into a kind of experimental drug usage, like trying psylocibin, meskalin and other mushrooms, or ayahuasca, LSD , marihuana as a basic tune… With what outcome?… good question. I personally think it could have turn out much better, with much more and longlasting development, less damage, if it was done with more understanding.


So, there are many questions about the place of psychedelic drugs in societies and spiritualism.
On “psychedelic” forums, they are talking about re-integration of certain drugs into societies, in medical, psychiatric usage.
I find this quite impossible. I doubt that it could become legal, even if in some cases they might help.
And I also think, that for mentally healthy people, there is no need for any drugs on their spiritual path - or better, they can live and develop very well without that. I often hear that psychedelic drugs open gates of experiences or of other worlds, and they can gain understanding of reality, get answers through such states of mind. And they believe, they would not be able to get these answers without such drugs, and especially would not be able to “leave these doors open” (probably means keeping this understanding, or keep in touch with such worlds) on their own, saying “because I am not a Buddha”. I quite disagree with them. I think they can not escape mastering their own mind with methods of meditation which might grant safety and lasting result, while by using drugs they have no control - as understanding of mechanism lacks. And the danger is here.

I have much more to say and ask. Like what are the damages actually - from Buddhist point of view (so in reality :) )- on the mind? What really happens to one, who dies in drug abuse? How are these chemicals related to mind, or better how is the bio-chemical body related to mind? What is the process of rehabilitation in case of serious damages? What are the differences in the process of rehabilitation of different type of drugabuses? Etc.

#2 m_v

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Posted 05 February 2009 - 06:56 PM

Here is a movie about Castaneda's story
http://video.google....648331106173390

sometimes quite narrow-minded, but of course it can represent one kind of interpretation. at least those can get a glimpse, who didnt know the story.

#3 Simona

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Posted 06 February 2009 - 04:54 AM

Regarding this topic i wish to point it out also drug usage by homeless people.

The other day i met one homeless man, selling a newspaper, which they publish and it is called "Kings of the street - Kralji ulice", and i thought, ok, i would buy one and in this way help them. So, i gave him 1 EUR, that was the price. He took the money, and said, sorry, but i cannot give you the newspaper. I said, it`s ok, that`s not the point. I have noticed he was under the drugs. And this one is not a lonely case. I have more or less regular contacts with two homeless and i try to help them, but both on drugs.

Beside long lasting consequences of the drug usage there are also some very quickly manifested.

Here is also one lately newly published story, which also gives to think. The mayor of Saborsko (Croatia) organized a New Year party in shamanistic style in his wooden shed. They even lit a fire in the shed! They were drinking a beverage from some black berries (bunika ie. mandragora). Result: one person passed away, because he felt on the fire and nobody noticed to help him, three persons ended in the psychiatrist hospital being without any orientation what so ever, one claiming being bitten by snakes. http://www.dnevnik.s...odbe/1042233658

#4 m_v

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Posted 06 February 2009 - 12:33 PM

Regarding this topic i wish to point it out also drug usage by homeless people.


Yes, there can be a group of socially marginal people.

Here is what Osho says about drugs and spiritual practice:
http://files.osho-bu.....f ecstasy.pdf
"Chapter 13 : LSD and Meditation *****
LSD can be used as a help, but the help is very dangerous; it is not so easy. If you use a
mantra, even that can become difficult to throw, but if you use acid, LSD it will be even more
difficult to throw.
The moment you are on an LSD trip you are not in control. Chemistry takes control and
you are not the master, and once you are not the master it is difficult to regain that position. The
chemical is not the slave now, you are the slave. Now how to control it is not going to be your
choice. Once you take LSD as a help you are making a slave of the master and your whole body
chemistry will be affected by it.
Your body will begin to crave LSD. Now the craving will not just be of the mind as it is
when you get attached to a mantra. When you use acid as a help, the craving becomes part of the
body; the LSD goes to the very cells of the body. It changes them. Your inner chemical structure
becomes different. Then all the body cells begin to crave acid and it will be difficult to drop it.
LSD can be used to bring you to meditation only if your body has been prepared for it. So if
you ask if it can be used in the West, I will say that it is not for the West at all. It can be used only
in the East -- if the body is totally prepared for it. Yoga has used it, tantra has used it, there are
schools of tantra and yoga that have used LSD as a help, but then they prepare your body first.
There is a long process of purification of the body. Your body becomes so pure and you become
such a great master of it that even chemistry cannot become your master now. So yoga allows it,
but in a very specific way.
First your body must be purified chemically. Then you will be in such control of the body
that even your body chemistry can be controlled. For example, there are certain yogic exercises:
if you take poison, through a particular yogic exercise you can order your blood not to mix with it
and the poison will pass through the body and come out in the urine without having mixed with
the blood at all. If you can do this, if you can control your body chemistry, then you can use
anything, because you have remained the master.
In tantra, particularly in "leftist" tantra, they use alcohol to help meditation. It looks absurd;
it is not. The seeker will take alcohol in a particular quantity and then will try to be alert.
Consciousness must not be lost. By and by the quantity of alcohol will be raised, but the
consciousness must remain alert. The person has taken alcohol, it has been absorbed in the body,
but the mind remains above it; consciousness is not lost. Then the quantity of alcohol is raised
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higher and higher. Through this practice a point comes when any amount of alcohol can be given
and the mind remains alert. Only then can LSD be a help.
In the West there are no practices to purify the body or to increase consciousness through
changes in body chemistry. Acid is taken without any preparation in the West. It is not going to
help; rather, on the contrary, it may destroy the whole mind.
There are many problems. Once you have been on an LSD trip you have a glimpse of
something you have never known, something you have never felt. If you begin to practice
meditation it is a long process, but LSD is not a process. You take it and the process is over; then
the body begins to work. Meditation is a long process -- you have to do it for years, only then will
the results be forthcoming. And when you have experienced a shortcut, it will be difficult to
follow a long process. The mind will crave to return to using the drugs. So it is difficult to
meditate once you have known a glimpse through chemistry; to undertake something that is a
long process will be difficult. Meditation needs more stamina, more trust, more waiting, and it
will be difficult because now you can compare.
Secondly, any method is bad if you are not in control all the time. When you are meditating
you can stop at any moment. If you want to stop, you can stop this very moment; you can come
out of it. You cannot stop an LSD trip: once you have taken LSD you have to complete the circle.
Now you are not the master.
Anything that makes a slave of you is ultimately not going to help spiritually, because
spirituality basically means to be the master of oneself. So I wouldn't suggest shortcuts. I am not
against LSD, I may sometimes be for it, but then a long preliminary preparation is necessary.
Then you will be the master. But then LSD is not a shortcut. It will take even longer than
meditation. Hatha yoga takes years to prepare a body -- twenty years, twenty-five years, then a
body is ready; now you can use any chemical help and it will not be destructive to your being.
But then the process is far longer.
Then LSD can be used; I am in favor of it then. If you are prepared to take twenty years to
prepare the body in order to take LSD, then it is not destructive. But the same thing can be done
in two years with meditation. Because the body is more gross, mastery is more difficult. The
mind is more subtle so mastery is easier. The body is further away from your being, so there is a
greater gap; with the mind the gap is shorter.
In India the primitive method to prepare the body to be ready for meditation was hatha
yoga. It took so long a time to prepare the body that sometimes hatha yoga had to invent methods
to prolong life so that hatha yoga could be continued. It was such a long process that sixty years
might not be enough, seventy years might not be enough. And there is a problem: if the mastery
is not achieved in this life then in the next life you have to begin from abc because you have a
new body. The whole effort has been lost. You do not have a new mind in your next life, the old
mind continues, so whatever is attained through the mind remains with you, but whatever is
attained through the body is lost with every death. So hatha yoga had to invent methods to
prolong life for two hundred to three hundred years so that mastery could be attained.
If the mastery is of the mind then you can change the body, but the preparedness of the
body belongs to the body alone. Hatha yoga invented many methods so that the process could be
completed, but then even greater methods were discovered: how to control the mind directly --
raja yoga. With these methods the body can be a little helpful, but there is no need to be too
concerned with it. So hatha yoga adepts have said that LSD can be used, but raja yoga cannot say
LSD can be used, because raja yoga has no methodology to prepare the body. Direct meditation is
used.
Sometimes it happens -- only sometimes, rarely -- that if you have a glimpse through LSD
and do not become addicted to it, that glimpse may become a thirst in you to seek something
further. So to try it once is good, but it becomes difficult to know where to stop and how to stop.
The first trip is good, to be on it once is good; you become aware of a different world and then
you begin to seek, you begin to search, because of it -- but then it becomes difficult to stop. This
is the problem. If you can stop, then to take LSD once is good. But that "if" is a great one.
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Mulla Nasruddin used to say that he never took more than one glass of wine. Many friends
objected to his statement because they had seen him taking one glass after another. He said, "The
second glass is taken by the first; 'I' take only one. The second is taken by the first and the third
by the second. Then I am not the master. I am master only for the first, so how can I say that I
take more than one? 'I' take only one -- always only one!"
With the first you are the master; with the second you are not. The first will try to take a
second, and then it will go on continuously; then it is no longer in your hands. To begin anything
is easy because you are the master, but to end anything is difficult because then you are not the
master.
So I am not against LSD, and if I am against it, it is conditional. This is the condition: if
you can remain the master, then okay. Use anything, but remain the master. And if you cannot
remain the master, then do not enter into a dangerous road at all. Do not enter at all; it will be
better."

And Dennis McKenna's talk on World psychedelic forum, Basel 2008: http://www.youtube.c...feature=related




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